rocket tracking


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Playing around with Gelatin Plate Printing

From left, Ruth Treon, Gwen Brown and Becky Goodwin
Today the Batty Binder's had an all-day quilt-in at the Elizabeth Township Community Center, a very cool place in the center of the first rural historic district.  Since I had missed leading the art quilting exploration at the end of June for our little art group, the Twisted Stitchers, I offered to do it here instead.

So...we dove into gelatin plate printing.  In this case, since I had never done it, but owned the stuff (that is, a Gelli plate, brayers (the rubber rolling thingy in Ruth's hand), paint, stampy stuff), and had read about it, I sent the group some links to some websites about doing it and loaded up a carload of supplies such as various stamping blocks., found objects, home made stamps etc.  Like me, Ruth Treon had also purchased a Gelli plate (a silicone plate which is always ready to be used) but had yet to use it.

I made my plate with 6 cups of water, and six packets of gelatin.  Someplace I  had read that it would be easier to take it out of the 9 x 12 pan if I put a layer of plastic wrap in the bottom.  Bad idea.  The plastic floated up and half of the gelatin was below the plastic and the other half above, so when I unmolded the gel it was a mess.  But since one of the reasons  I wanted to use real gelatin rather than just the silicone plate was that the surface would be imperfect and break down over the use of it, I just unmolded the mess and worked with that.  You can see it as the blob of blue and purple nearest the edge of the table.

Ruth didn't have any problem with hers at all.  We brayered the paint over the plate, then used either paint swirls, stamping bits, or found objects.

 This was one of my pieces...I first used Dynaflo blue fabric plate on the printing was fairly light and I thought a bit un-interesting.  So, I poured some of the fuschia onto the block...only to find that it was really old and had started to turn to it didn't really spread.

So....I over stamped it with the bottom of a Hostess cupcake "wrapper" (the brown plastic part has an outline which has always reminded me of the sun) dipped in gold metallic paint.

This one is one that Debbie Black did and it turned out really interesting.  She used the small Gelli Plate that Ruth brought.  First, she took a foam brush and painted the plate in one direction, then in the other on a diagonal which gave it the cross hatch effect.  She then pressed a decorative cast iron stove plate from my trove of "found objects".  Since the plate didn't give up the plate print very well (I think because it had some pointy bits which didn't allow you to make good contact), she painted the stoveplate with brown paint and took it over to the padded printing area and did a positive print next to it.  I think it turned out pretty well.

This is one of Ruth Treon's pieces. She swirled red paint on the block, then over stamped it with a rose-like printing stamp. She lifted the print off the block. She then took a place mat which had perforations and brayered paint on it, then put it over the top of the printed fabric on the padded print surface and brayered the paint from the place mat onto the pre-gelatin plate printed fabric while it was wet.   I think it turned out pretty cool.

Gwen did some fun things with my plate and some blue, but I didn't get a picture which showed it off to it's best effect.

Technically, when you do this, it is called making a mono-print. A mono-print  is a painting on a surface which is then transferred to this case fabric.  While sometimes you can get a second "pull" from the plate, usually you've already transferred all of the paint or ink to the surface you initially transferred it, thus, you only get one print per inking of the plate.

Here are some additional websites/blogs with info on gelatin plate printing.

Tracy Bunkers

Kathleen Garner

Leslie Tucker Jenison at the Sketchbook Project blog

Where to find unflavored gelatin? wasn't easy in my grocery store...when I didn't see the familiar package of Knox gelatin in the jello/pudding aisle, I asked the store help....they told me to look in the canning aisle (yes, this is Ohio, so we have a section of an aisle devoted to canning)....only that was Pectin, not gelatin....I finally found it on the very bottom of the shelf next to rennet (that's another story) and it was only the house brand, not Knox.

I had been looking for some Kosher or non-animal gelatin for a friend, and I tried Halal stores and an Indian market, and a couple of health food stores, but never found any.  Maybe she will have to use just the Gelli Plate!

1 comment:

Diane Doran said...

Interesting results, Lisa, thanks for sharing them!